Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The 70th Anniversary of The Ed Sullivan Show

Seventy years ago today, on June 20 1948, Toast of the Town debuted on CBS. If you don't recognise the title Toast of the Town, then you will probably recognise the title by which it would be later called: The Ed Sullivan Show. For the next 23 years it would remain a Sunday night staple on CBS. When it was cancelled it was not due to its ratings, but because its audience was considered "too old".

The Ed Sullivan Show would not only prove to be popular, but it would also prove to be influential. The show was notable for the first television American performances of many legendary performers, most notably Martin & Lewis and The Beatles. At a time when African Americans only rarely appeared on television, Ed Sullivan featured black performers regularly. Harry Belafonte, James Brown, Cab Callway, Diahann Carroll, Sam Cooke, Lena Horne, Eartha Kitt, Moms Mabley, The Miracles, Richard Pryor, andThe Supremes all appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.

I wrote a detailed post on The Ed Sullivan Show on the occasion of its 60th anniversary. You can read it here.

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